COSATU, its affiliates and members will participate in Parliament’s NHI Bill public hearings in Mpumalanga

The Federation believes that the National Health Insurance is the best vehicle to usher in Universal health coverage. The NHI bill seeks to establish the NHI fund and set out its powers, functions and governance structures to provide a framework for the active purchasing of health care services by the fund on behalf of the final users. The Bill sets out to create mechanisms for the equitable, effective and efficient utilisation of the fund’s resources in order to meet the needs of the population and to limit undesirable and unethical conduct in relation to the NHI fund.

The South African health system is in urgent need of an overhaul in terms of its financing arrangements, management and the ability to deliver quality healthcare services.  The health system is clearly dysfunctional and that the quality of healthcare is poor. Access to quality health services depends on one’s location, race, income level, gender, and whether the healthcare services are public or private.  The inequality in the financing and provision of health services between public and private sectors as well as provincial and district variation can mean the difference between whether a patient lives or dies.

The unequal distributions of health spend in South Africa and the deteriorating state of public health care necessitates the implementation of the NHI. South Africa has no option but to muster the courage, to make resources available, to develop institutions and technical capacity and to mobilise the society to confront our epidemics e.g. poverty-related illnesses, infectious diseases (including HIV/AIDS and TB), maternal and child deaths, non-communicable diseases, violence and injury.

COSATU and other progressive organisations have called for the speedy passage of the NHI Bill as a key step closer towards the delivering quality health care for all. Unfortunately, wealthy medical companies are busy funding a hysterical and false narrative that the NHI is a threat to economic growth and jobs.  This is nothing less than an attack upon the poor and it seeks to deny workers their constitutional right to quality health care and in fact life.

President Ramaphosa must ignore such callous philistines and speed up the NHI implementation process.  This is why South Africans overwhelmingly supported his election as President.

COSATU welcomes the initiative by the Minister to build the capacity of managers to implement the NHI by utilising bilateral agreements with countries that have made a national health insurance sustainable.

COSATU cannot emphasise enough the the urgency of the implementation of the NHI in the face of the quadruple disease burden as well as the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

The federation will continue to defend the NHI against attacks from the health profiteers who want to see its defeat.  This is the next battle in the war to improve the lives of workers.  COSATU was victorious in the fight to achieve a National Minimum Wage.  We will win this battle as well.

The hearings will take place as follows:

Programme of the public hearings on NHI – MPUMALANGA PROVINCE: 25 – 28 OCTOBER 2019

Friday, 25 October 2019 Nkomazi Local Municipality 16:30 – 20:30   Block B Community Hall 
Saturday, 26 October 2019 Bushbuckridge Local Municipality   08:30 – 09:30   10:00 – 15:00 World of Life Bible Church
Sunday, 27 October 2019 Thembisile Local Municipality   10:00 – 15:00 Kwaggafontein Community Hall
Monday, 28 October 2019 Gert Sibande District Municipality (Ermelo) 16:30 – 20:30 Mayor’s Parlour

For further information contact Lebo Mulaisi, COSATU Social Development Coordinator at 078 907 5041 or Matthew Parks COSATU Parliamentary Coordinator at 082 785 0687